Welcome to the 2020 New World Order, when a social media platform like YouTube thinks it knows more about the coronavirus pandemic than an epidemiologist.
Dr. Knut M. Wittkowski, former head of biostatistics, epidemiology and research design at Rockefeller University, says YouTube removed a video of him talking about the virus which had racked up more than 1.3 million views.
Wittkowski, 65, is a ferocious critic of the nation’s current steps to fight the coronavirus. He has derided social distancing, saying it only prolongs the virus’ existence and has attacked the current lockdown as mostly unnecessary.
Wittkowski, who holds two doctorates in computer science and medical biometry, believes the coronavirus should be allowed to achieve “herd immunity,” and that short of a vaccine the pandemic will only end after it has sufficiently spread through the population.
As with all of these “violations” on social media platforms, YouTube wouldn’t point to anything specific that Wittkowski did:
“They don’t tell you. They just say it violates our community standards. There’s no explanation for what those standards are or what standards it violated.”
In articles and interviews across the web, he has likened COVID-19 to a “bad flu.” That likely made him a target for YouTube, which said in April it would be “removing information that is problematic” about the pandemic.
“Anything that goes against [World Health Organization] recommendations would be a violation of our policy and so removal is another really important part of our policy,” CEO Susan Wojcicki told CNN.
YouTube should reconsider its policy. Using the World Health Organization as the arbiter of what should and should not be expressed is rather dubious. The WHO hasn’t exactly been the most honest player on this pandemic stage, as PJ Media’s Claudia Rosett wrote last month:
As the disease spread, the WHO put out a stream of misinformation, including the now-infamous Jan. 14 message on Twitter that Chinese authorities had found “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission.” Even after China admitted on Jan. 20 that the disease was highly contagious among humans, even after China on Jan. 23 forcibly locked down the entire city of Wuhan, Tedros and his team delayed sounding a serious alarm. It wasn’t until Jan. 30, a week after the Wuhan lockdown, and following Tedros’s lightning trip to Beijing to pay court to China’s tyrant, President Xi Jinping, that the WHO finally declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
Tedros and Company have perhaps been the least reliable “professional” voices as this pandemic drama has played out. After the above-detailed actions, anything they say should be greeted with truck loads of skepticism. They certainly shouldn’t be writing the rule book for any medical debate about coronavirus and public health policy.
Wittkowski Not Alone
Dr. Wittkowski isn’t the only epidemiologist preaching herd immunity. Utah’s chief coronavirus expert is saying the same thing:
“We’re not going to be able to prevent disease effectively until 60% to 80% of the population is immune to COVID-19,” Dr. Angela Dunn, state epidemiologist with the Utah Department of Health, said during Wednesday’s briefing at the state Capitol. “They either get infected or they get a vaccine.”
There have been a lot of reasonable professionals discussing herd immunity and questioning the effectiveness of the onerous lockdowns. There is no reason that their voices shouldn’t be part of any conversation. Incidents like this really do make it seem as if politics are driving the debate more than legitimate medical concerns.
YouTube and the other major social media platforms have all decided to police all coronavirus content, nuking what they deem misinformation or dangerous. Questioning lockdowns isn’t dangerous, it’s just unpopular on the Left side of the political aisle in America. Censoring Dr. Wittkowski has everything to do with biased narrative control and nothing to do with public health or medicine.
PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author of “Don’t Let the Hippies Shower” and “Straight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.” His columns appear every Tuesday and Friday.